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Monday, 28 October 2013

We don't have this kind of time

We just don't. I don't, you sure as hell don't.

Seriously, you guys. I mean, check it: Lou Read just died, like, yesterday. You think he thought, 'Ah, well, I had a good innings'? Did he fuck. There was a man who understood the importance of producing, who defined himself by his work, his passion: There was a man who fucking wrote.

Anyway. So neither of us have time for this shit. It's my lunch break from the job that actually pays the bills, and any one of the following items is more pressing than the one I'm doing now:

  • Getting my account back in good standing. This is an online writers workshop that specialises in Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror short stories. You submit a story to the queue, after 3 or 4 weeks your story hits the top of the queue, and then you get critiques from your fellow writers. In order for your story to be eligible for critiquing, you need to have averaged 3 critiques every four weeks, or you are deemed 'not in good standing' and your piece gets deep sixed until you catch up. Having taken three months to write a non genre novel, I stopped critiquing, and now I owe them about 10 or 11 critiques just to get back on terms. I've got a genre piece out with my critical readers right now, and as soon as they've done with it, I want to get it back in the queue. So the solution is to do a critique every lunch break (otherwise it's eating into my evening writing time, which I just can't afford). I need to be doing this. Also
  • my latest D1. It's really hard. I'm excited as hell about the idea, but actually writing it down is like pulling fucking teeth at the moment, and I don't know why. It's dispiriting. I had tough patches with the novel, but I dont' remember ever finding it this consistently hard to just put one word in front of the other. If I'm slacking off of Critters, the least I should be doing instead is trying to make some headway there. Instead
  • I'm pondering a different blog entry for Facebook ,where I talk about the fact that it's 13 months since I started writing, and talk some numbers about what that's involved. I think it might be potentially interesting, useful documentation (to a point - I mean, I'm a fiction writer, so it'll be lies, but good lies, useful lies, I hope), and guess what the sticking point is? I don't know where to host it. Do I use my 'personal' FaceBook account, with the 70 odd friends, or do I post it to my 'official' author 'page' in an attempt to drive traffic there and build that profile? Isn't it too personal for the author page? Too 'wonky' for the personal page? Or
  • should I post it here, the place where I write about not having time to write, because writers need a blog, a place where they can connect with their audience in a more long form method than FaceBook is really built for? But I do not have time to write a blog. I don't. It would take time away from the writing that really matters (D1's or revisions) and the writing that also matters (the critiquing). The reason I'm not self-publishing my work is precisely this issue - I work full time, and I sing in a band, and oh yeah, I have a family that actually enjoys my company (quiet at the back), and somehow I feel the need to be a writer as well. I have, I'd estimate, at least two and a half full time jobs already, only one of which pays. Publicist is another full time job. I don't have the time to do it. I don't have the skills either, so that tracks at least. And
  • I don't have an agent. I don't have an agent because I haven't made enough sales yet, and I haven't made enough sales yet because I haven't gotten enough pieces to enough markets yet to make that connection and sell pieces, because it takes time. And, probably, not all my work is good enough yet. That's okay. I'd better be getting better.
I really need to get a grip on this new piece. I really like the idea, and I just need to grip it and make it happen. And I've got to get disciplined about Critters - it's a fantastic resource, and you do get out what you put in. I'm too scared of deconstructing writing, afraid I'll kill the butterfly by pulling the wings off it. But a piece of prose isn't a butterfly. I don't think it is, anyway. Well, not my prose.

Anyway. So I don't have time to do this blog, and you don't have time to read it. I need to get over to Critters and get cracking, but my lunch break is almost over, and I also need to eat.

Lou Reed died yesterday. You have less time than you think. Fucking write.